cooking with various seasonings

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by SpecialPreskoo, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Aug 6, 2007

    I got a spice rack for Christmas and some of them... I just don't know what to do with them or which of them can be combined. Got any tips? Here is what I have...

    basil

    bay leaves

    black peppercorn

    caraway seed

    celery salt

    crushed red pepper

    dill weed

    fennel

    marjoram

    savory

    thyme

    THANKS for any tips or recipes!!! I like to bake chicken, porkchops etc. Would any of those be good on that?

    ALSO!! How do you make baked chicken good and juicy?? Mine seems to be rather dry when I bake it.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dill weed: Chop cucumbers and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Combine sour cream, a splash of wine vingear, a pinch of sugar and dill weed. Pour over vegetables and mix. (This is my kids' favourite).
     
  4. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2007

    add a bay leaf to ham soup (take it out before serving)
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    General advice: anything dried "perks up" when you rub it between your fingers, crushing it.

    basil - best in tomato sauces (spaghetti sauce) It is also good on baked meats (chicken, pork, etc...)

    bay leaves - generally added to soups and stews (if it is whole leaves, put it in whole and remove before serving) You can add it to pretty much any soup/stew that is not cream based

    black peppercorn - this is the whole form of pepper in the can - it needs to be cracked before used - try a meat mallet or buy a pepper grinder, use like regular pepper, but use less than usual

    caraway seed - mostly soups and stews, tastes good with cheese too (like fondue)

    celery salt - just tastes like salt and celery together (really!) I add it to vegetable soups, and things like chicken salad in place of plain salt - anything that chopped celery would be in tastes good with it

    crushed red pepper - use in anything you want to spice up, sauces, soups, eggs, pizza, anything

    dill weed - great on seafood and in dips (if you like pickles I make a dill dipping sauce for chicken nuggets/tenders that is sour cream (small container), mayonnaise (1 tbs), dill weed (1tsp), sour pickle relish (1 tbs or to taste) , salt and pepper (to taste)

    fennel - good for ground meats - sausage, meatloaf, etc....

    marjoram - most meats go well with this for baking, roasting or grilling

    savory - mostly used for vegetable dishes (roasted carrots or potatoes) and used a lot in beans/bean soups

    thyme - can be added to almost anything, vegetable dishes, roasted, baked, grilled meats, salad dressing, chicken salad

    Baked Chicken - be sure to preheat the oven and not over 350-375. Use a meat thermometer to test it in 30 minutes for 165 degrees, if it is close give it five minutes and check again. Let the chicken sit for a minute before cutting into it. The juices have to rest or they all run out when you cut into it.
    :)
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 6, 2007

    We're fond of dark meat in my family, so I buy thighs or legs and bake those. I arrange the pieces skin side up in a single layer in a casserole (yes, they can be touching). I tuck cloves of garlic between the pieces - have been known to use half a head of garlic. Then I pour in broth and wine so the bottom half of each piece of chicken is submerged, and then I liberally add rubbed sage, thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil, fennel seed, and lavender blossoms so you don't see much skin. Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes - if your oven's better than mine (and it probably is), you might be able to get away with less time. The leftovers are very useful, and so's the liquid left in the casserole.

    The herb/spice blend has a name: it's Herbes de Provence. Mine's a little unusual, though.

    One way to discover what herbs and spices taste like is to add the herb or herbs to a little bit of good fresh cottage cheese. (You could blend the cottage cheese first.) Mix well and refrigerate for an hour or so to let the flavors blend, then allow the cottage cheese to come to room temperature before tasting. You could even have an herb tasting party...
     
  7. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Dry Chicken?

    I have several tricks I use when baking chicken, depending on whether it is chicken parts or a whole chicken, both of which I like! For a whole chicken try putting quarters of a lemon in the cavity. I also tend to add fresh garlic in the cavity and under the skin. I leave the skin on to keep it juicy, but I don't eat the skin. It is easy to put spices/herbs under the skin, just lift the skin up and it will generally separate making something like a pocket. I just stuff the "pocket" with garlic -- I have stuffed it with butter in years past as well. I roast my chicken in a 375 degree oven. For most of the time, I keep the chicken covered with foil. For the last 15 minutes, I remove the foil to let the chicken brown. Like TeacherGroupie, I make sure to have liquid of some sort (try different ones for different flavors) in the dish with the chicken while it is roasting. A cut-up chicken cooks much faster than a whole chicken. My husband and I have a favorite flavor combination for roast chicken. I quarter a lemon or two (depending on the size of the chicken), squeeze the juice on the skin of the bird and rub it in, then stuff the lemon into the cavity of the chicken. I then take fresh garlic and smash it, then put as much as you want in the cavity and under the skin. Next, I take fresh rosemary (love the smell!) and stick a couple of stems in the cavity and some under the skin. Lastly, I pretty much coat the skin with black pepper. Bake it as usual, then let it rest for at least 5 minutes, then carve! I have also known people who got a rack so that the chicken could "sit up" in the oven, so that they could insert a beer (in the can) into the cavity while upright. This also helps to make the chicken juicy. Sorry so long, lol.
     
  8. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    And I thought I was being original :lol: I smash several cloves of garlic, add some lemon zest, chop up some fresh herbs (whatever I have growing at the time, but definitely sweet basil, sage, parsley, and chives), and mix it all with softened butter (not margarine) and smear it under the skin of the chicken (I do this with a whole bird, but I guess you could use pieces). Squeeze the lemon juice from the de-zested lemon on the skin, stuff the remains into the cavity, salt (with sea salt or kosher, if you have it) outside and inside. Place in a 475 degree oven for about 15 minutes, then decrease temp to 325. Cook til done. The high initial heat crisps up the skin and seals in the juices. I really like the idea of the black pepper. I'll have to try it soon. Yum:love:
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    You should really try growing some rosemary, too. It is pretty cold hardy, and is phenominal in chicken or pork dishes! I have been known to keep a single rosemary plant alive for 5 years -- it got huge! Then we had to move, and I didn't think it would take the transplant well, so... anyway, thanks for the complement!
     
  10. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Every year, I grow some rosemary. I love the stuff. I've tried winter hardy varities but to no avail, it doesn't make it in this climate. And it's not even a harsh climate (except for last winter). Wow! How did you keep it alive for so long? I don't have that good of a green thumb. Yes, it is awesome with pork (I like to use it with tenderloin) as well as chicken. You sound like a good cook. I, personally, want to be the Next Food Network Star.
     
  11. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Aug 6, 2007

    juicy chicken

    Oh fun, a cooking thread! :)

    Once I baked a chicken in a salt crust; it was so incredibly juicy! You can find the recipe here: Chicken in Salt with Fennel, Thyme, and Lemon

    This dish is impressive when you crack the salt crust and reveal the chicken (and its smells) underneath. It's also pretty easy, just pop it in the oven and come back 2 hours later (though rather impractical for a weeknight). I know it sounds like a lot of salt, but you don't get any extra saltiness in the chicken!

    ~Briana~
     
  12. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    Aug 7, 2007

    I use oregano, basil and dill weed (with garlic and parsley flakes salt and sugar) in my tomato sauce for spaghetti.

    celery salt goes in cole slaw---- I was out last time I made it and the kids said it tasted wierd.

    when you have an empty jar mix some basil, margarim, dill, garlic powder, oregano, savory, red pepper flakes and parsley and salt and make your own Italian seasoning!

    bay leafs go in home made soup or on top of roast when you make roast beef (3) and then throw them away when you are ready to eat.
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Oh, wow, this thread is definitely taking off!

    LOL! I would, too, but only if I could do it off camera! :woot:

    That does sound good! I have had fish baked in salt, but never chicken. You are right, though, it doesn't make the meat any saltier -- it just acts like an insulator to hold the heat and juices in!

    I have heard of SO many people who put sugar in their spaghetti sauce (and in their greens, as well)! I am sure it is delicious, but I have never added sugar to mine. I love the tomatoey flavor, and have to watch my sugar intake anyway (diabetic), so even when I hear of a recipe that includes the sugar, I just drop that off of the ingredient list.
     
  14. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    I always add a bit of sugar to correct the acidic flavor of tomatoes in sauces. I just like it better that way but I know many prefer the sharpness of tomatoes. However, I could eat fresh summer tomatoes from my garden with just salt and pepper til I explode:woot:
     
  15. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Me too on both counts! I :love: tomatoes! My friend at school always tells me that I will turn into one one day :lol:
    As far as adding sugar, I use splenda now that my husband is diabetic and it works fine :)
     
  16. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    My absolute favorite summer food is fresh tomato sandwiches! Two pieces of whole wheat toast, a little mayo, slices of a real tomato (that actually grew in the ground!), and some pepper! Nuthin better!:love:
     
  17. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Do you have garlic powder? That's always good if you want garlic flavor without having to peel, crush and chop garlic.
     
  18. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    I iuse garlic powder for some things but I prefer the real thing. I don't mind the chopping.
     
  19. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I tend to smash the garlic, which cuts down on the chopping, lol

    Anyone ever use elephant garlic? Love it! It's huge, but much milder than it's little cousin.
     
  20. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I use a microplane to "grate" garlic. It comes out so small that there are no chunks at all and is great for marinades and roasting vegetables.
     

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